Discovering Phillipsburg

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

After a short taxi ride I ended up in Curacao Airport again. Until now, this island was definitely one of my favorites. That undoubtedly had to do with the nice hostel and the very pleasant introduction to Stephanie, a girl from the Netherlands who was just totally amazing. At 11: 30h my flight left to St Maarten, another island that is part of the Dutch Antilles but lies way more north in the Caribbean.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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The beach in Phillipsburg.

The beach in Phillipsburg.

After a horrible flight -I sat at the back, when I opened my window I saw only the engine of the plane, and I went completely deaf because of the terrible loud roar of the engine- I arrived in SxM (Sint Maarten) an hour later than originally scheduled.

Unfortunately, I could not see the spectacular landing. After all, the airport in St Maarten is very short and because of this the planes need to drop down a lot quicker than usual. In front of the airport there’s a small beach (Maho Beach) where lots of tourists wait for the planes to arrive to catch a glimpse of the giant airborne structures just flying a couple of meters above their head.

Normally I would be picked up by my hostel owner, Vicky’s Keys, but after nearly an hour I still saw no one with a sign and so I decided to take a taxi to the hostel. I really did not feel like wasting any more time at the airport.

My first impression of Saint Martin was that it was a beautiful island. A little further down the airport I saw a beautiful lake display a couple of beautiful boats. In the background I could see the looming beautiful volcanic mountains of the island showing some gorgeous villas.

However, if you go a little further, you see that St Maarten is not as rich as it seems. The location of the hostel was definitely some sort of ghetto…
The cottages were struggling to stay upright and they looked anything but luxurious. Later I learned that this was probably the worst area in Sint Maarten. Previously there had been a lot of drug and other substance abuse and even some killings in this neighbourhood.

Nice to know!

Of course I was a bit annoyed when I arrived because they did not come pick me up. The woman tried to laugh it off a little and told me that the phone was not working so well. Two minutes later she was calling without problems, so I was quite sure she had just completely forgotten.
After settling in the hostel, I walked through the industrial zone nearby and eventually strolled into Phillipsburg; the capital of St. Martin.

I didn’t find a lot to do here as well. It was just a tad more modern and luxurious than the slums. In the actual shopping area you saw a lot of luxury brands, but once you passed this street it just looked like a city that silently faded away in the course of history.
Even the beach seemed like a place that had known better times in the past.

The small beach was pretty nice. There were a lot of British, American and French tourists with a bottle of beer or other alcoholic beverage parading on the embankment.

My stomach growled so loudly that I just walked into the very first place and I ordered a pizza.
Not a great idea, because the pizza had no flavor and I could even find a couple of hairs in it.
Since it was already getting quite late, I decided to go back to my hostel. I did not want to walk alone when it started to get dark in this area!

The courthouse of Phillipsburg.

The courthouse of Phillipsburg.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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